BONN (Mar. 13)
Eugen Kogon, on educator and anti-Nazi activist, was awarded a special medal in Hamburg Tuesday bearing the names of two Jewish philosophers, Martin Buber and Franz Rosenzweig. The award, mode by the Association for Christian-Jewish Cooperation, honored Kogon for his resistance to the Nazis during the era of the Third Reich.
The festive ceremonies were held at the Hamburg City Hall where Justice Minister Hans-Jochen Vogel congratulated Kogon on behalf of Chancellor Helmut Schmidt and the Federal government. In his remarks he referred to the recent Bundestag decision to remove the statute of limitations on prosecution for murder, including Nazi war crimes, and the establishment of the first Jewish faculty at a German university since the war as examples of the advancement of Christian-Jewish relations in the country.
Mayor Hans Klose of Hamburg noted that one of the first acts by city authorities after the war was to restore to the City Hall the portraits of prominent Jewish citizens that had been removed by the Nazis.
Kogon, responding to the award, said the young generation in West Germany was eager to know more about the past. But, he observed, young people are still not receiving sufficient orientation on the subject and face enormous difficulties in a rapidly changing world.
A bitter note was injected when one speaker remarked that “Buergstodt is everywhere in Germany.” Buergstodt is the small Bavarian town whose citizens raised 200,000 Marks bail for their former Mayor, Ernst Heinrichsohn, who was convicted last month and sentenced to six years’ imprisonment for his role in the deportation of French Jews and others during World War II. Heinrichsohn, who served with the Gestapo in Paris, was freed on bail, but only briefly. He was re-arrested by court order last week pending the outcome of his appeal to the high court in Karlsruhe.